Statement: News Publishers Call on President Biden to Defend Local Journalism in Canada Visit

Ahead of President Biden’s meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the News/Media Alliance is calling on the President to defend local journalism from Big Tech giants seeking to undermine efforts in Canada and the United States that would help save high-quality journalism.

“Google and Meta have repeatedly attempted to avoid paying news publishers for the high-quality, local journalism that publishers invest significant resources into producing, while the platforms enjoy a steady stream of users and ad revenue and news publishers struggle,” stated Danielle Coffey, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the News/Media Alliance. “First in Australia, then in the U.S., and now in Canada, Meta and Google have threatened to remove news from their platforms and risk harming the public rather than pay for content they did not create. We cannot continue to allow Big Tech to exert their dominance any longer. The stakes – the survival of local journalism – are too great.”

When Australia was considering its News Media Bargaining Code, Meta ‘deliberately caused havoc’ amid the COVID-19 pandemic to influence the law. Their threats didn’t work, and the News Media Bargaining Code has helped news publishers there reach deals with the platforms. Meta made similar threats when the Canadian legislature introduced the Online News Act (C-18) last year and fought similar bipartisan efforts in Congress to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) in December. In addition, Google has been testing removing news from its platform in Canada in the event C-18 becomes law.

The Alliance deeply appreciates the President’s efforts to promote competition across the American economy and calls on every corner of the Administration to stand strong against Big Tech’s efforts to resist fair payment that will help keep newsrooms open across the United States and the world.

The Alliance encourages Congress to pass the JCPA in the United States, which would establish fair terms of engagement between news publishers and platforms such as Facebook and Google. America’s publishers continue to support the global efforts in Canada, the UK, India, and Taiwan to promote fairness between the companies who employ hardworking journalists and the dominant online platforms that seek to exploit news content and divert advertising dollars to their own bottom line.

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